Countdown to Kylie: Here's the insider info on what Lewis Capaldi and Britney were like when they came to Scarborough Open Air Theatre

Lewis Capaldi at Scarborough Open Air Theatre. Photo courtesy of Cuffe and Taylor
Lewis Capaldi at Scarborough Open Air Theatre. Photo courtesy of Cuffe and Taylor

The man in charge of the venue for Scarborough Council has given an insight into what goes on when the stars arrive.


The building to the right of the stage is “like a Tardis – it looks small but is very spacious inside,” said Stuart Clark, who is Scarborough Council’s operations, venues and events manager.

Britney Spears was "as nice as you could wish for"

Britney Spears was "as nice as you could wish for"

The innocuous building has two storeys, and contains an en-suite dressing room, five other dressing rooms, and two offices – one for OAT promoters Cuffe and Taylor and one for the tour managers and staff of the performing artist.

There is also a kitchen, four showers including one for the disabled, and toilets.

Look behind the scenes at the OAT HERE

Behind is a large catering marquee, run by an outside company.

Stuart Clark pictured at the venue last year

Stuart Clark pictured at the venue last year

So, what have been the demands from the worst of the divas?

“We’ve had no divas, every artist we’ve had has been really nice!” said Mr Clark.

“Pop and rock stars have this image of being divas, and over-demanding, but we’ve had none of that, maybe we’re just lucky. They’ve all been normal people. We do our best to give them a good experience when they come here.”

When Britney Spears came last year “she was as nice as you could wish for”.

“Her dad was her tour manager, and everything was so efficient, it ran like clockwork.”

All you need to know about Kylie's concert HERE

Mr Clark said that one artist had everything in the dressing room and one of the offices removed – “and put their own stuff in, even down to the office chair. They wanted everything to be familiar.”

Of all the stars that he has met – “and generally I don’t get to meet all that many” – Rick Parfitt, frontman of Status Quo who sadly died in 2016, was probably the friendliest.

“He was such a laugh, absolutely hilarious and really kind. He took a shine to a Yorkshire teapot so we gave him one of those, as well as an Open Air Theatre T-shirt.”

Similarly, Lewis Capaldi, who played the venue in July, made an impression. “He’s a really funny guy, and he said he wanted to wear a local football shirt. My daughter’s boyfriend plays for West Pier, so I got him a shirt and Lewis wore that for a kickabout on the decking before the show.

“We’ve got a little surprise for him when he comes back at the end of August!”

Several artists, said Mr Clark, have said how impressed they were with the venue and the town.

“Boyzone flew over the town and took photos of the venue, and sent them to us. Their manager Mark Plunkett used to be in Scarborough band Little Angels, and told us how proud he was of what we were doing, and proud of the council.”

Mr Clark says the venue is well liked by artists and audiences. “Since the lake infront of the stage was filled in it’s become much more intimate, and the crowd love that, we’ve had a lot of good feedback.

“And now we’ve got ticket touts and people outside selling their own merchandise (‘a poncho for four quid! Ours are £2) – apparently that’s when you’ve ‘arrived’ as a venue!”